Summiting Mt. Mitchell

Throughout Nov 4  - Nov 7, I embarked on a Journey to summit the Highest Peak East of the Mississippi River at an Elevation of 6684 ft; Mt. Mitchell. I can say after the journey, it was something that I grossly underestimated, and without a doubt was probably one of the hardest athletic endeavours I have participated in.

The Journey

November 4

I departed at 3.30 pm towards Columbus, Ohio to meet with my buddy and co-worker Cosmin (Pictured above, far right). Arriving at around 10:30 pm, I met with Cosmin's brother, Alex (Pictured above, 2nd to the right).  We called it a night, and got ready to embark early in the morning for North Carolina.

November 5

We woke up at 4:30 am so that we could make camp before the sun went down at 5.30 pm.  We got to Mt. Mitchell at 3:00 pm and made camp near the base of the mountain. We were all in bed by 7.00 pm in preparation for the long day ahead of us.

November 6

We woke up at 6:00 am to pack up, eat breakfast and find the beginning of the trail. We started our climb at 9:00 am and within the hour I learned the hard way that I packed way too much gear. My bag was so heavy, that we decided it be best to hide it somewhere on the trail and grab it later. We made an X with two large woods to remember the spot and were on our way.

On our way up, we ran into a couple of extraordinary human beings. Doug (Pictured above, on the far left) was an emergency room Physician with a lot of insight to give me around Women, the future, and life in general. Katie (2nd to the left) was in Sales in the Florida area, and was an adventurous one. I couldn't keep up to her for the life of me. It's quite rare where you meet such friendly strangers and embark on a journey together. 

We reached the summit around 1:00 pm and managed to capture a bit of the view.

We headed back down, where I retrieved my bag back along the trail and got back to our cars around 4:30 pm.

We drove about 2 hours and got a Hotel in Asheville and called it a night. 

November 7

Woke up early morning around 8:00 am and were on our way back to Columbus. We did make a stop at a scenic view where I captured this panorama. 

Reaching Columbus at 6:00 pm, I then embarked to Toronto. I arrived at 1:00 am, Thanks to energy drinks and caffeine. 

Lessons Learned 

  • When hiking, pack as little as possible and only what you need. Everything else, will slow you down.
  • Good hiking gear is essential, and I'm hoping on my next few endeavours to start obtaining some essentials bit by bit, as it is also a very expensive hobby.
  • I need to incorporate more cardio into my workout routine but I probably won't listen to this advice. 
  • Climbing in the fall means a lot of leaves on the ground, so you don't have a lot of visibility of what you are hiking on. But, it also means a lot of animals are in hibernation and the trails generally won't be as crowded. 
  • From Doug, "Going Up is Optional, Coming Down is Mandatory"